Secession begins

Buchanan's reaction to secession

Last efforts at compromise

The End of the Interim Period

o       Presidential appointments—in addition to entering office during the most stressful time ever, Lincoln found himself surrounded with political office-seekers from the whole of the Republican Party.

o       The conflict begins—the day after inauguration word arrived form Charleston that supplies were running out and Lincoln decided to re-supply after notifying the governor of SC.

o       Secession of the upper South—northern states had no qualms about furnishing troops but the states of Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina especially had real problems with the thought of fighting against their sister (slave) states.

o       Lee’s decision to join the Confederacy—his father was a Revolutionary war hero and he himself had been in the US Army for 30 years. His estate faced Washington DC and General Winfield Scott offered him the command of the entire army.

o       Examples of family splits—Franklin Buchanan commanded the Virginia and sank the USS Congress with his brother on board, John Crittenden of KY had a son in each army.

Balance sheet for the war—the danger is in thinking that a northern victory was a foregone conclusion as it was anything but. The human factor played a decisive role.

The War’s Early Course

First Battle of Bull Run—after Fort Sumter Beauregard was chomping at the bit to fight and Davis then sent him north to the railroad junction of Manassas about 25 miles west of DC. Lincoln countered by sending General Irvin McDowell to meet the outnumbered Confederates.

Emerging Strategies—after Bull Run all knew the war would last for awhile and now Scott’s Anaconda Plan was put into effect.

Naval Operations—after Bull Run throughout the rest of 1861 the navy took center stage in the east.

Forming Armies—Lincoln’s early calls for volunteers—he called for 1,000,000 troops after Bull Run and the states sent them as state regiments, many led by politicians—many inept.

Confederate army recruitment—they served for a year as volunteers and by 1862 Davis had to use conscription.

In the South the draft was a bit of an irony as it gave a strong central government those very rights that the Southerners had always bitched about back in the Union days.

Union conscription—started in 1863 and included those aged 20-45. One could also buy a substitute or pay $300.

The draft ion the North and the South led people to volunteer, either for bounties or to be spared the disgrace of being drafted.

The West in the Civil War—settlers continued to stream into the west during the Civil War and precious metals continued to move east. As a result new communications lines and stagecoach lines carried both. New territories organized during the war were Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and Montana. Nevada would reach statehood by 1864.

Actions in the West—in the east nothing much happened after Manassas allowing actions in the west to take center stage, beginning with Albert Sidney Johnston’s attempts to take Kentucky.

Battle of Shiloh—after gaining KY and TN Grant continued down the Tennessee towards Corinth.

McClellan’s peninsular campaign—after Manassas Lincoln replaced McDowell with McClellan and he would build a well-trained well-organized army whose troops loved him. But, he was too concerned with losing a battle to go out and win one.

Second Battle of Bull Run—McClellan was ordered to abandon the peninsula and come back to Washington where a new attempt would be made on Richmond straight south.

Lee’s invasion at Antietam—Grant took his time going north and Lee and Jackson both attacked the Union forces again at Manassas. The Union was soundly defeated this time too and pulled back to Washington once again. McClellan was put back in charge.

Antietam—(Sharpsburg) Lee now headed for the north for a lot of reasons—not the least of which was to get recognition of the South from Europe.


The move for emancipation—as the war dragged on slaves began to show up in Union camps and Lincoln at first had to be careful what to do with them as they could chase the Border States south.

Blacks in the military—mostly they were used as guides, informants or laborers. The thought of using them as military forces scared the white population too much but the proclamation said that blacks could enroll in the military—albeit in all-black units.

Women and the war

Government during the War

Financing the War

Methods used in the North—increased tariff and excise taxes on every profession. In addition, an income tax was levied for the first time and the Internal Revenue Act creates an agency to collect these taxes.

Confederate finances—a disaster

 Confederate diplomacy

Union Politics

Confederate politics… a disaster also

Wearing down the Confederacy

Defeat of the Confederacy—during the winter of 1863-1864 the South was sensing defeat everywhere. The Union forces sensed it as well as well and decided to step up attacks.

The Wilderness Campaign—May 1864 Grant caught up with Lee next to Chancellorsville and this marked the first time the two generals squared off. Grant suffered heavier casualties but Lee was running out of replacements.

Sherman’s march through the South—Sherman took Atlanta and burned the warehouses and rails on his way to the ocean. Helping matters were the fact that Davis replaced Bragg with Johnston then crazy man John B. Hood.

Appomattox—winter of 1864 was especially harsh on Lee and his troops were also abreast of the news coming from Sherman’s march.